One of the major driving forces in all facets of healthcare is the push for “patient-centered care”. Although this concept has been around since 2001 (published by the Institute of Medicine), the market is now integrating the concept into all new projects. This report identified six areas of improvement for the U.S. healthcare system by asserting that care must be: safe, effective, patient-centered, timely, efficient and equitable.
The Institute for Health Care Improvement (IHI) defines Patient-Centered Care to include:
1) Consideration of “patients’ cultural traditions
2) Patients personal preferences and values
3) The patients family situations, and
4) Lastly their lifestyles
Patient-Centered Care makes the patient and their loved ones an integral part of the care team, who collaborate with healthcare professionals in making clinical decisions. This ensures “that transitions between providers, departments, and healthcare settings are respectful, coordinated, and efficient. When care is patient-centered, unneeded and unwanted services can be reduced.”
Other governing boards have also integrated Patient-Centered Care into their programs. The American Board of Internal Medicine has added “patient-centered” into its Maintenance of Certification Program by including patient experience surveys. Other medical boards are doing the same including the American Board of Medical Specialties.
To add to the movement, a number of healthcare reform initiatives have integrated Patient-Centered Care into their reforms. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act includes a number programs that evaluate Patient-Centered Care. The law also called for the creation of a “Physician Compare” website, which allows the public to compare quality data at the physician level, including “an assessment of patient experience and patient, caregiver, and family engagement.”
So what does this mean for a solution provider in the Healthcare market? First ask yourself, does my solution support your client’s Patient-Centered Care initiatives? It should; and make sure you bring this into presentations to your clients before being asked. Your client needs to know that you understand the challenges they are facing without their prompting you. In addition, I see a wonderful opportunity for cross-marketing products. For example, does your organization provide product to the home or school market? Can these products be revamped easily to be a solution for a family area in the healthcare facility?